Thai soldiers would not use force to evict protesters occupying the prime minister's office, army chief Anupong Paochinda said on Tuesday despite a state of emergency giving him the power to do so. "If we thought we could use police and soldiers to get them out with a peaceful conclusion, we would do it. But we think that that would create more problems," he told reporters after a man died in clashes between pro- and anti-government protesters.Given that many PAD protesters are armed with guns which have been used in anger, it would not ordinarily seem prudent to send unarmed soldiers in. But this situation does so sound quite strange if you consider that the army and the protesting mob might be on the same side.
The emergency powers invoked by Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej banned public meetings, declared government buildings off limits, and restricted media reports that incite unrest.
But with the army reluctant to enforce the decree - Anupong said his soldiers would be unarmed and would act only as a buffer between the protesters - the stand-off looked set to drag on.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Posted by Jotman on Thursday, September 04, 2008